Take a look around: you will observe that the world operates on the law of variety, from nature to people, to cultures and everything in between. Everywhere and everything is not the same. Using the Christian religion as a case study, the Bible records in the book of Genesis, that God created the heaven and the earth, then he commanded light and separated it from darkness, and so creation went on and on until he created man and then from man, the woman became formed. The chapter is full of variations and confirms that the world exists in diversity.
Diversity refers to a state of variety, differences, and forms. It paints a picture and imagery of options. Thus, when we talk about diversity, we are referring to the ability to exist in other ways. There is so much beauty in diversity, looking at nature, beauty exists in variety, and contrasts in one, enhances and complements the other. Thus, difference, in its pure form, is complementary, not inhibiting.
So, why does man object to the concept of diversity? We often feel comfortable with things that we are used to, something we have been able to figure out, orderliness. Thus, anything that does not align or challenges our knowledge creates a form of conflict within us and causes us to be distressed. We feel uncomfortable, and the natural thing to do is to work at returning to our state of comfort. A new perspective in our way of thoughts and actions often challenges us into a defensive state that causes us to take a fighting posture, which aims at fending off the offensive.
In society, when we talk about diversity, we refer to the uniqueness of every individual that makes up the group. Looking at the man as an entity, every person on earth have unique features as science has established that no two individuals are precisely the same, not even identical twins formed from the same egg, they have different genetic compositions. Now imagine, a world made up of over seven billion people, imagine the number of differences that exist. Each person comes with their unique values, behaviors, preferences, etc. yet we must live within a contained space, which challenges our ability to value the principle of diversity.
Some Of The Advantages Of Diversity In Society
Acknowledging our diversity enables us to appreciate each other; respect is established when we understand another person, and accept them. Some of the advantages of diversity in society include:
Creates a peaceful world: When we truly appreciate and accept our differences, we rise above mere tolerance. When we understand the other person, we become open to not just hearing but listening to what others are saying. When we look, we begin to realize that we are all the same but in different wrappings. At the center of our being, we all seek the same thing. We want to be loved, appreciated, and we want to be at peace and find harmony. We learn how to adjust ourselves to accommodate another’s uniqueness without losing the essence of who we want to be. We grow in acceptance, and we diminish in discrimination.
Increased Productivity: Varying opinions and ideologies, breeds more productive arguments, and more abundant debates produce unique solutions. The coming together of people from different backgrounds, towards addressing a problem, is a rare opportunity for different life experiences and perspectives to be shared and genuinely reviewed. This combination only makes the final solution a better fit for all concerned.
Becoming a well-adapted individual: At the heart of most conflicts, is the fear of losing what you believe. However, your ability to retain your identity while being secure and open enough to learn about others, makes you a better-prepared individual who can survive in any situation. When you allow yourself to experience the different cultures around your immediate environment, your ability to adapt becomes stronger, and you become better equipped to confront challenges. Ultimately you are a better developed social creature.
Ability to develop a better perspective: When you listen to other people’s experiences without bias, with an open mind, borne from genuine interest to learn and discover, you can develop new insights. Such insights can mold your thoughts and behavior or at least help you to appreciate other people’s struggles better.
Creates a more prosperous Life: A colorful plant will always attract many insects and produce beautiful flowers compared to plants of single colors. Imagine being surrounded by people of the same mindset, way of life, behavior, etc. Does it not paint a picture of dullness? In comparison, imagine being surrounded by people from different world views, practices, languages, does it radiate energy? The question is, which do you prefer? Which one breeds life? I am sure you would argue that it is the latter.
For a society to be genuinely diverse, it must operate on mindfulness. Being mindful of others results in the genuine struggle to have everyone’s voice captured, which is inclusion. Mindfulness helps you to step out of your head and world, and allow you to move into the world of others around you. Diversity cannot succeed without social inclusion, with acceptance and mutual respect truly understood and practiced. Diversity cannot flourish on the premise of tolerance; in the long run, it leads to resentment, then discrimination, and then outright hatred.
A diverse but inclusive society encourages free speech and open communication, equality in opportunities’ irrespective of differences, a mutual feeling of responsibility and accountability. Such a culture encourages individuals to be their best for the benefit of their neighbor, society, country, and the world at large. It is a society that nurtures differences that make us stronger, and even when we have to contend with disagreements, and we stick to the universal law of love, peace, and harmony.
Imagine the following hypothetical scenario: College BOX admits six hundred students for the 2019-2020 school year. From the admissions data, forty percent of students are from the United States, and the remaining sixty percent are from other continents, including Africa and Asia. The year’s admission includes forty percent males and thirty-five percent females, with over twenty percent who identify as Non-Binary. Further analysis of the data will reveal additional demographic information by social-class, economic-class, etc.
With the above scenario, it will be a great injustice to the students if College BOX does not make academic, social, and structural provisions for the varying students admitted into their campus for the school year. When there is inadequate provision for students that are in the minority, there is a higher chance that such students will fall into the all-too-comfortable habits of self-segregation as a way of self-preservation. Such acts of isolation often create the environment and opportunity for negative behaviors that results in both psychological and inhuman treatment which infringes on the fundamental human right of individuals – Right to Equality, Right to Freedom, Right against Exploitation, Right to Religion, Cultural and Educational Rights.
In college, most young adults, for the first time, have the opportunity to live in close quarters with people from extremely different backgrounds: based on sexual orientation, race, cultural norms, religion, economic status, or other factors. It is the job of the college administrators to encourage positive interaction; by providing all the necessary resources in all forms. It is a fact that colleges that fosters diversity and celebrate having different cultures from around the world on their campus produce students that become global citizens, students who can work anywhere around the world, and eventually become outstanding leaders. Please take a look at exceptional leaders in any field of life; one thing they have in common is the robust education they have both in the classroom and as students of life experiences.
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Founded in 2019, D.I.E is a unique operating organization for professionals working in Equal Opportunity, Diversity, Affirmative Action, and related fields. Building on his experience of more than two decades, founder Brian Figeroux, Esq. who has excelled in Civil Rights, Employment Law, Business Law & Development and served as advisor of several Chambers of Commerce in New York City, is taking his work expertise and knowledge to help the public and private sector. Mr. Figeroux endeavors to develop and devise programs where inclusion is instinctive, as Inclusion without Diversity is Inequality, and Equality makes both businesses and government more productive.